Posts in: Books
By Miriam Brown ’21
Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” turned 200 this year, and Colorado College was one of almost 700 institutions around the world to participate in its anniversary celebration.
A couple of years ago, members of the Keats-Shelley Association of America created an organization called “Frankenreads” in anticipation of the novel’s bicentennial. The central event was a Halloween marathon reading of “Frankenstein” at the Library of Congress; people in 44 different states and 41 different countries joined in, honoring Shelley’s work with speeches, film screenings, exhibits, discussions, and even musicals.
CC sponsored multiple events this year as a part of the international celebration. The first-year common read this year was “Frankenstein,” so first-year students gathered to listen and participate in discussions about the novel during New Student Orientation. Additionally, there have already been multiple on-campus screenings of various film adaptations.
The star of the celebration was CC’s own read-a-thon event, hosted Wednesday, Oct. 31, in Tutt Library starting at 10 a.m. About 40 different volunteers each read 10-minute sections of the novel aloud, until they completed it cover-to-cover later in the day.
Associate Professor of English Jared Richman, who is currently teaching a course on the novel, hopes that this event taught people more about Shelley and her novel’s legacy.
“It is a novel that takes on a lot of really difficult questions about the nature of creation and power and authority,” Richman says. “And so I hope that folks will use it as a jumping-off place to discuss some very challenging questions and issues that are really still relevant to us today.”
Tom Cronin, the McHugh Professor of American Institutions and Leadership at Colorado College, has published a new book, “Leadership Matters: Unleashing the Power of Paradox.” The book offers a different view of leadership and does not emphasize specific rules for or characteristics of effective leaders. Instead, Cronin and co-author Michael Genovese, of Loyola Marymount University, see leadership as more nuanced and filled with paradox –for example, they point out that Americans want leaders who are like themselves yet better than themselves. Americans yearn for leaders to serve the common good – yet simultaneously serve particular interests. Leadership, they says, is a realm in which rules only occasionally apply and how-to prescriptions obscure more than they enlighten.
“Ideal leaders help create options and opportunities – help clarify problems and choices, build morale and coalitions, inspire others, and provide a vision of the possibilities and promise of a better organization, community, or world,” states the book. “Asking whether leadership can be taught is the wrong question. Can leadership be learned? is the better question.”
Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian, calls the book “an absolute tour-de-force – one of the most wide-ranging, fascinating, intricate studies of leadership I have ever read.”